Thursday, September 22, 2011

if you could regret one thing, what would it be?

true, i've felt regrets to be useless. and actually, i've been hard-put to dig one up. i could, of course, ask to be a nicer person, or a more ambitious one, maybe even famous as a writer, and so on. in other words, a complete sheep or a ravenous wolf. somehow, it seems pointless. i mean, i wouldn't have changed anything i've done, really, except one thing.

damn, i wish i'd savored each moment more! less nervous, less restless. of course, i enjoy remembering driving thru the desert in my vw bus, camping among shrouded louisianna trees, stopping for a rain-shower in new orlean's storyville, water dripping from the old wrought iron railings. yes, continuing along the mississippi coast right after hurricane camille, houses turned over, sand thrown over the road. i enjoyed touring williamsburg, hearing the museum docent proudly declaim on southern art.

alas, the end not so happy. i stored my vehicle in a brooklyn garage and endured the worst month in europe ever, not to travel again for fifteen years. yes, it was that bad, that lonely, the last time i visited my berlin friend renate before she drank poison and lept into oblivion. luckily, i landed two sisters for the drive back, susan horn and her sister. i did have to meet their russian mother, who said she'd kill me if anything happened to them. 

what i mean is, i've learned we only live one day at a time and our imperative to take pleasure in at least one piece of it, even if we're meditating in a salt-mine, doing yoga in prison, reading poetry in the war zone. all this planning, all this ambition, all this remembering, what a waste. not that it isn't fun and often a balm, but the eternal truth? we put one foot in front of the other.

had i savored those moments, making love, drinking sherry, laughing at charlie chaplin, i could feel fulfilled. not only that, i would have understood early on the best we can do is help someone else enjoy a bit of their day, cause that's all they have too. dear, dear, it's not to be. i'm still dancing like a flea on the back of a flying pig. the moment i settle down, i feel i'm missing something.

and i've regressed, taking up the finger-painting i loved to do in the second grade....